Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Starring: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, technically still Alec Guiness.

Directed By: Irving Kirschner

Where I Watched it: Disney Plus

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Narration Written By: Jason Soul

Narrated By: Miles Neff

The Plot: Some guy named Luke Skywalker thinks he’s one of those long forgotten Jedi he keeps hearing about because he can talk to dead people, so he seeks further training from a small green creature that lives in a swamp. Meanwhile, Han Solo has realized that Leia is the only human woman he’s come into contact with in quite a long time, and makes googly eyes at her, to which she responds. Then they go to the place where The Jetsons live, only to meet up with a guy named Lando, who might not be as good of a friend as Han previously thought. And someone will lose a hand, but gain a father.

So, while I do love A New Hope a little bit more, perhaps because it really did all this world building I respect, and of the three original films, features Obi Wan the most, I also really love and have come to love Empire Strikes Back. It’s just not unquestionably one of my “desert island” films. There is always this debate about whether or not you choose the film featuring the Death Star, the introductions to these characters, and the only film to really feature Obi Wan over a film that brings you Yoda, Lando, and Boba Fett, as well as more action since the world has already been built. Plus, this is the moment where everyone who isn’t German lost their damn minds (Vader means father in German). It’s a tough call, like choosing between Toy Story 1 or 2, Godfather 1 or 2, or Mortal Kombat vs Mortal Kombat Annihilation. Well, maybe not that last one.

Empire does so much to expand on the universe that I never really feel like arguing or countering those who believe it is the superior film. I can totally understand why. It’s just a slight edge, and only a personal preference that would put A New Hope above Empire Strikes Back, but they’re both terrific films that truly did blow open the doors of cinema.

The Blind Perspective: So, having finally gotten to see A New Hope, I saw Disney’s vision for watching the audio description, and it starts with A New hope, which means the characters from A New Hope don’t get descriptions, and as soon as they’re visible on screen their name is announced. But the new additions, Yoda, Boba Fett, and Lando all most notably, all have character descriptions, and their names aren’t used until someone uses them. It’s the wway it’s supposed to be. All that being said, it’s still more great audio description. Miles continues to give his excitedly awesome narration, and these continue to be among the very best audio described films. So far, A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back I would easily put in some kind of list of “films to get started with if you’re just learning about audio description.”

Final Thoughts: Another great Star Wars film, and it starts to get a bit more rocky from here on out. 4 films left, and only one looks to land an A grade (assuming it holds up).

Final Grade: A

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